The 2013 Early Care and Education Data Systems Survey (ECEDSS) was developed by the Early Childhood Data Collaborative (ECDC) partners. A subset of questions from the ECDC’s 2010 data systems survey were revised to clarify definitions regarding linking child-level data and include specific examples of data linkages, child development screening and assessment tools, and data governance roles. The survey was piloted in four states (Colorado, Illinois, Rhode Island, and Vermont) and revised based on the feedback received. The end result was a 26-item survey, comprising of six core questions and 20 follow-up questions based on responses to the core items. The survey questions were programmed into an online survey software named Qualtrics.
On July 3, 2013, ECDC distributed the ECEDSS through the Qualtrics website via email. The emails included a short letter explaining the purpose of the survey, as well as a link to the survey. The emails were sent to representatives from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. For each state and the District of Columbia, a main contact was identified by ECDC partners to complete the survey and coordinate responses from other early childhood program staff. Main contacts were sent contact information for staff from the early intervention, preschool special education, state prekindergarten, Head Start, and subsidized child care programs to assist with data collection. The main contacts who responded to the survey primarily represented staff from the Department of Health, Social, or Human Services (31 percent), Department of Education (25 percent), State Early Childhood Advisory Council (20 percent), or the Office of Early Learning (20 percent). Click here to access the list of survey contacts. The survey took each respondent an average of 54 minutes to complete.
Data collection was completed by October 1st, 2013. Responses from 50 states and the District of Columbia were received. All ECEDSS responses were exported from Qualtrics into an Excel spreadsheet which was then imported into SAS, statistical software, for data cleaning and analysis. After analyzing the completed survey responses, ECDC staff conducted follow-up calls and emails to correct missing or miscoded responses. All state contacts were sent a copy of their final responses and data used for the state profiles included in the final report.